Barack Obama Stories January 12, 2016

cook

Last Friday, Tim Cook was among a handful of Silicon Valley officials who met with White House officials to discuss the use of technology and social media in fighting terrorism. The Intercept today reports that Tim Cook again took the stance of there being no backdoors in technology to allow access to user data and devices.

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Barack Obama Stories October 12, 2015

encryption

A New York federal judge has indicated that he is likely to refuse a government request to compel Apple to unlock a customer’s iPhone, but will first ask Apple to explain why decrypting iPhones would be “unduly burdensome.” The iPhone concerned is apparently not running iOS 8 or 9, and so Apple would have the technical ability to decrypt it.

The Washington Post reports that Magistrate Judge James Orenstein of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York is an activist judge who is believed to be attempting to open up public debate on the issue of privacy versus law enforcement …  expand full story

Barack Obama Stories September 25, 2015

Tim-cook-lisa-jackson-state-dinner

Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook and former EPA administrator Lisa Jackson, arrive for a State Dinner reception in honor of Chinese President Xi Jinping, in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Friday, Sept. 25, 2015. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Among over 200 titans of industry, finance and entertainment this evening, Apple’s Tim Cook and former EPA head and Apple’s VP of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives Lisa P. Jackson attended President Obama’s Chinese State Dinner. The two reportedly sat at the President’s table with FaceBook’s Mark Zuckerberg with wife Pricilla Chan, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Apple Board member and Disney CEO Bob Iger among the 18… expand full story

Barack Obama Stories May 19, 2015

Apple among those asking Obama to reject calls for government access to encrypted data

Apple and Google have co-signed a letter calling on President Obama to reject any government proposal to allow the government backdoor access to encrypted data on smartphones and other devices. The Washington Post says the letter, due to be delivered today, is signed by more than 140 tech companies, prominent technologists and civil society groups.

The signatories urge Obama to follow the group’s unanimous recommendation that the government should “fully support and not undermine efforts to create encryption standards” and not “in any way subvert, undermine, weaken or make vulnerable” commercial software.

Apple uses end-to-end encryption for iMessages, meaning that Apple has no way to access the data even if presented with a court order. Tim Cook stated last year “it’s encrypted, and we don’t have the key.”

The FBI has been pushing increasingly hard to require tech companies to build in backdoor access to their encryption systems to allow access by law enforcement, even going so far as to say that Apple could be responsible for the death of a child. U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has also cited child safety as a justification for demanding access to encrypted data.

The letter calling on Obama to reject this argument is also signed by five members of a presidential review group appointed by Obama in 2013 to assess technology policies in the wake of leaks by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

Many in the tech industry have pointed out that, aside from the obvious concerns over government intrusion into the private lives of its citizens, any backdoor used by the government could potentially be discovered and exploited by hackers and foreign governments.

Barack Obama Stories March 26, 2015

patriot-act-reform

Apple is one of ten tech giants to once again call on the US Government not to reauthorize the Patriot Act in its current form. The Act expires on 1st June unless it is renewed by Congress. Apple was joined by AOL, Dropbox, Evernote, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo.

In an open letter to President Obama, NSA Director Admiral Rogers and other prominent government figures, the companies urge Congress to end the bulk collection of communications metadata–the logs that determine how and when ordinary citizens contact each other.

The letter says that mass surveillance must end, and that a revised bill must contain mechanisms to ensure that future government surveillance is both transparent and accountable …  expand full story

Barack Obama Stories March 3, 2015

Obama weighs in as China demands access to data services provided by U.S. companies

President Obama has publicly criticized China’s plans to expand ‘security’ policies that would effectively prevent U.S. tech companies like Apple selling their products in China without completely compromising data security.

Reuters reports that the Chinese government plans to require foreign tech companies to host in China all data servers used by their products, and to allow the government access to the data. As this would include iCloud backups, this would provide the Chinese government with complete access to all data stored on iPhones and iPads sold in China.

In an interview with Reuters, Obama said he was concerned about Beijing’s plans for a far-reaching counterterrorism law that would require technology firms to hand over encryption keys, the passcodes that help protect data, and install security “backdoors” in their systems to give Chinese authorities surveillance access … 

Barack Obama Stories July 11, 2014

upload

According to a report from The Wall Street Journal, President Barack Obama is set to announce a new program called “SupplierPay” to help boost small businesses, and Apple is one of the 26 companies listed as having already signed on.

The program intends to send money down the supply chain and help strengthen contractors and smaller businesses by giving them access to lower-cost capital and thereby opening up opportunities for hiring more workers. This, the White House hopes, will increase investments at the small business level as well. expand full story

Barack Obama Stories February 5, 2014

President Obama uses iPad to take class videos during school visit [Videos]

President Obama, who has been seen on several occasions carrying an iPad, used one to take class videos during a visit to an Adelphi school to promote the ConnectED program.

The program, designed to bring high-speed Internet to 99 percent of schools within five years, is being supported by Apple, which is donating $100M worth of iPads and other equipment.

Obama has also been seen using a Mac (with a Presidential seal covering the logo), but says he is not allowed to use an iPhone for security reasons.

Barack Obama Stories January 29, 2014

Blink and you missed the tech stuff in the State of the Union address

Technology got only the briefest and vaguest of mentions in last night’s State of the Union address, with little in the way of new commitments.

President Obama promised six more “hubs for hi-tech manufacturing,” adding to the two hardly anyone had heard of in Raleigh and Youngstown that “connected businesses to research universities that can help America lead the world in advanced technologies.” The government apparently kicked in $100M in funding for research into 3D printing and energy-efficient chips. Nothing was said about where the new hubs would be or what they would do.

Aside from that, there was a pledge to connect 99 percent of schools to high-speed broadband over the next four years, which doesn’t seem an overly ambitious deadline for something so basic; generalised promises to reform the NSA; and a plea for Congress to reverse cuts to government research funding.

A one-line mention of possible patent reform, with no firm pledge. Nothing on net neutrality. ISP or carrier monopolies and collusion. Nothing on tightening rules on data security in the wake of large-scale credit card compromises. Not much on immigration reform, to help tech companies hire the people they need. And no specific pledges on limiting the powers of the NSA.

Is is just me, or is it odd to spend so much time talking about the economy and job-creation, but so little on steps to help the industry that is expected to drive much of that growth?

Apple did get a brief name-check, as one of the companies supporting the high-speed broadband initiative.

Tonight, I can announce that with the support of the FCC and companies like Apple, Microsoft, Sprint, and Verizon, we’ve got a down payment to start connecting more than 15,000 schools and twenty million students over the next two years, without adding a dime to the deficit.

In a statement to The Loop, Apple said that it was contributing hardware, software and expertise to the project.

We are proud to join President Obama in this historic initiative to transform America’s schools. Apple has a long history in education, and we have pledged to contribute MacBooks, iPads, software and our expertise to support the ConnectED project. We look forward to announcing more details with the White House soon.

Barack Obama Stories December 4, 2013

President Obama: ‘I’m not allowed for security reasons to have an iPhone, but my daughters love it’

While he and many of his staff members use Apple’s iPads, United States President Barack Obama has revealed why he does not use an iPhone: “I’m not allowed for security reasons to have an iPhone,” the President said earlier today. Nonetheless, he says that his daughters both use iPhones. President Obama has stuck to his BlackBerry over the past few years because of its messaging and encryption capabilities. No word on if the iPhone will ever be suitable for a President, but Apple has been beefing up its smartphone’s security via hardware, software, and sensors in recent years.

Barack Obama Stories October 8, 2013

Samsung-Gavel

With a U.S. import ban previously issued by the ITC set to lock out certain Samsung devices at midnight last night, Bloomberg reports that the company has failed to obtain a veto from President Barack Obama:

The Korean company had argued that the ban should be overturned on public policy grounds, especially since a similar order it won against Apple was vetoed by the administration in August. Samsung can now seek a delay in the ban from a U.S. appeals court that will consider the entire case on legal grounds.

“After carefully weighing policy considerations, including the impact on consumers and competition, advice from agencies, and information from interested parties, I have decided to allow” the import ban to proceed, Obama’s designee, U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, said in a statement today.

In August, the US International Trade Commission ruled in favor of Apple and issued a sales ban on certain infringing Samsung devices in a long-running case that stemmed from a countersuit originally filed by Apple back in 2011. The news came shortly after the Obama administration’s decision to veto an ITC import ban on certain iPhone and iPad models that Samsung won in a separate case. Like Apple, Samsung was going to attempt to get a veto on the decision by the US President, the only person with the power to overturn ITC import bans.  expand full story

Barack Obama Stories October 1, 2013

During President Obama’s live remarks addressing the government shutdown and Obamacare site outages today, the U.S President compared the issues with healthcare.gov to an Apple product launch (via WashingtonPost):

Now, like every new law, every new product roll-out, there are going to be some glitches in the sign-up process along the way that we will fix. I’ve been saying this from the start. For example, we found out that there have been times this morning where the site’s been running more slowly than it normally will.

And we’re going to be speeding things up in the next few hours to handle all of this demand that exceeds anything that we had expected. Consider that just a couple of weeks ago, Apple rolled out a new mobile operating system, and within days, they found a glitch, so they fixed it. I don’t remember anybody suggesting Apple should stop selling iPhones or iPads or threatening to shut down the company if they didn’t. That’s not how we do things in America. We don’t actively root for failure. We get to work, we make things happen, we make them better, we keep going.

He is of course referring to the release of iOS 7.0.2 last week, which brought fixes for a lock screen passcode bypass flaw and other small issues.

Obama is a confirmed iPad user and is frequently seen carrying around the device so perhaps he’s speaking from some 1st hand experience… expand full story

Barack Obama Stories June 3, 2013

obama-607

The WSJ reports that after years of worsening patent legislation in the US, the Obama administration has finally decided to try to do something about it.

The president has taken a dim view of certain patent-holding firms. In February, he said some firms “don’t actually produce anything themselves. They’re just trying to essentially leverage and hijack somebody else’s idea to see if they can extort some money out of them.”

Apple, depending on who you ask, is sometimes the agressor in patent cases but is often the victim of  frivolous lawsuits that often earn these patent holding companies millions and millions of dollars. These companies aren’t really companies at all; instead they are just shell companies built around a patent or a portfolio of patents, which are often overly broad or were never intended to be used in a particular way.

These lawsuits often take place in courts in Eastern Texas, where judges are notoriously friendly to trolling interests.

Some examples of companies who’ve questionably sued Apple or its interests: VirnetXPersonal Audio LLC, Lodsys, Motorola? etc.

The administration’s plans in 5 steps:

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Barack Obama Stories March 13, 2013

Regional carriers supporting new cellphone unlocking bills in hopes of attracting iPhone customers

Earlier this month we told you that lawmakers were working on introducing new legislation to legalize cellphone unlocking following a statement from the White House confirming that it would support “narrow legislative fixes.” The new laws would attempt to reverse a decision was made by the Library of Congress in October to make the act illegal that resulted in a petition from consumers and prompted a response from the White House. We already knew that most of the big carriers including Verizon and AT&T are not in support of unlocking, but today Bloomberg reports smaller, rural carriers are backing new bills in hopes it will attract new iPhone customers:

“Smaller carriers have a very difficult time getting access to smartphones and handsets,” said Steven Berry, president of the Competitive Carriers Association, which represents such companies as U.S. Cellular Corp. (USM) and Bluegrass Cellular. “The unlocking is one way the consumer can make the decision that I can try someone else who has better coverage in the area where I live or play.”

While the Senate bills are “excellent first steps,” Congress needs to go further, Carri Bennet, general counsel for Rural Telecommunications Group, a Washington association representing rural carriers with fewer than 100,000 subscribers, said in an e-mail.

Many of these smaller regional carriers, including Bluegrass Cellular, typically offer the latest iPhone for a price lower than Apple and the major carriers in order to attract customers. Bloomberg also reports that a number of lawmakers have committed to introducing or supporting bills to legalize unlocking phones:

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat, and Charles Grassley of Iowa, the panel’s top Republican, introduced a bill March 11 to overturn the Library of Congress’s decision and direct the agency to consider adding tablet computers to devices that consumers can unlock.

Democratic Senators Ron Wyden of Oregon and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota have also introduced bills to unlock mobile phones. House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte, a Virginia Republican, and John Conyers of Michigan, the panel’s top Democrat, have also announced plans to sponsor such legislation.

ChronicUnlocks.com has been a solid provider of iPhone unlocks for our readers and us for a while now if you are looking for a good place to unlock an iPhone

Barack Obama Stories January 21, 2013

Reminder: Stream today’s US Presidential Inauguration ceremony live on your iOS device

Barack Obama’s second United States Presidential Inauguration will be held this morning at 11:30 a.m. EST in Washington DC.  The event will feature music headliners like Beyoncé (National Anthem), James Taylor, and Kelly Clarkson.  The President was actually sworn into office yesterday, but all festivities will be held today.  There will also be a parade to round out the day’s celebrations.  You can stream the event on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod with the Inaugural 2013 iOS app. The app was created by AT&T, but you can use it on any cellular carrier.

You can also stream the video on ABC’s iOS app or its YouTube Channel or through the 2013 Presidential Inaugural Committee’s YouTube Channel.

Barack Obama Stories November 19, 2012

CNN reported a White House official confirmed President Barack Obama spoke with CEOs of four Fortune 500 companies over the weekend to “discuss the so-called fiscal cliff and economic growth.” The discussions with the select group of CEOs follow a larger meeting of a dozen American companies at the White House last week. One of the four CEOs invited to join the discussions was Apple’s Tim Cook.

According to the White House, the conversations were part of the President’s “outreach on the need to find a balanced deficit-reduction solution that protects the middle class and continues to move our economy forward.”

The official said Obama spoke with the CEOs of four Fortune 500 companies over the weekend after gathering a dozen CEOs of other major American companies at the White House on Wednesday

The other CEOs included in the discussions were Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase, Costco’s Craig Jelinek, and Jim McNerney of Boeing. expand full story

Barack Obama Stories November 6, 2012

9to5Mac scoured Apple’s App Store and the Web for the most talked about, best-rated or just plain interesting apps related to the 2012 U.S. Presidential Election, the candidates and their respective campaigns, and general news coverage for election night. Check out the roundup below; we will continually update throughout the day.

Oh, and check out the newly published YouTube video above of a voting machine supposedly “altering votes” earlier this morning. Eeek. 

Campaign apps

1. Obama for America by the Democratic Party for iOS | Free More details on this official campaign app are available in 9to5Mac’s original coverage of its launch.

2. Romney-Ryan for iOS | Free The official campaign app aggregates the latest news and updates, offers folks a chance to donate, and it provides exclusive campaign information with sharing options friends and family.

Election apps

1. Super PAC App for iOS | Free Discover more about the presidential election ads on TV. The app identifies commercials from all political groups, including Super PACs, and the official campaigns.

2. 2012 Map: The Presidential Election App for iOS | $1.99 User can create, save, and share 2012 presidential election scenarios with this app that includes “Live” maps updated daily with the newest polling data and “Historical” maps that detail every election from 1789 through 2008.

3. Election 2012 Issues: Obama vs Romney in Their Own Words for iPhone | Free Answer arguments about candidate’s views with videos of them using their own words. This app is non-partisan and details both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney’s position.

4. Election Results 2012 for iOS | 99 cents Real-time election results for GOP primaries, Senate, Governor, House races, and the Presidential elections in November 2012.

5. VoterHub by AT&T for iPhone | Free This is a “non-partisan clearinghouse for information on the 2012 election season, and future elections, in all 50 states,” with options for checking voter registration status, registering to vote, finding local polling place, getting detailed information on each candidate, and aggregating the latest election news from The Associated Press, etc.

6. Campaign 2012 – Obama vs Romney US Presidential Election News for iOS | Free A source of up-to-date information about the 2012 U.S. presidential election with continually updated news, opinions, and analysis from many news sources. No subscription fees, either.

7. Electoral Vote Polls for iOS | Free Electoral-Vote.com tracks the poll numbers for upcoming Senate, House, and Presidential elections. The site is popular, but now folks can now stay informed on the latest poll numbers on an iOS device.

8. 270toWin for iOS | 99 cents According to the app’s description on the App Store: “It takes 270 electoral votes to win the White House. Make your predictions by starting with one of our many library maps. With one touch you are on your way to deciding which states will go to the Republican party, which ones will go to the Democratic party and which ones are leaning, likely or undecided.”  Maps will update on Nov. 6 as states are called.

9. Presidential Election Race 2012 for iPhone | 99 cents Follow the electoral vote scoreboard and state-by-state poll results, and monitor the swing states with alerts for new polls with the latest election news, a map of how each state is trending, the number of electoral votes for each state, and the history of each state’s voting record since 1940.

10.  Settle It! PolitiFact’s Argument Ender by TIMES Publishing for iOS | Free Resolve political disputes with this app that checks facts in campaign ads and tests users’ knowledge. Folks can also find fact-checks by searching name, keywords and subject, browse Truth-O-Meter ratings by person and subject, and share their findings by email, Facebook and Twitter.

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Barack Obama Stories October 14, 2012

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LOL’d

A shaky YouTube video is below for those who NBC is boxing out. Thanks, Eric! expand full story

Barack Obama Stories October 9, 2012

Former GE CEO Jack Welch uses an iPad to conduct business

Here is an interesting ‘footnote’ to this story on former GE CEO Jack Welch leaving Fortune Magazine, quitting over his harsh anti-Obama jobs Tweet coverage:

Apparently, the 20-year CEO and Chairman of GE conducts business on his iPad. So, there’s another notch in the “iPad is only for consumption” coffin.

Barack Obama Stories July 27, 2012

Obama’s campaign dropping 72 percent more than Romney’s on Apple products

U.S. President Barack Obama’s campaign spent over one-third of a million dollars on Apple products since the election began in 2011.

Obama for America forked over $353,000, according to official expenditure reports filed with the Federal Election Commission, and Dow Jones’ Joseph Walker promptly noted that amount could snag 1,780 new iPhones or 176 new MacBook Airs.

Romney’s campaign spent just $99,000 on Apple products during the same period.

Walker further correlated the campaign spending to donor contributions:

  • Overall, the tech community seems to be firmly in favor of re-electing Obama when it comes to opening up their wallets, according to contributor filings. Obama has raised $950,000 from the Big Five tech giants, compared to Romney’s $123,040. Apple employees seem to favor President Obama by a margin of 15 to 1. Campaign contributions from donors identifying themselves as Apple employees total $121,305, compared to the $8,175 donated to Romney.

Get the full report at FINS Technology.

Barack Obama Stories July 16, 2012

Steve Jobs warned Yelp’s CEO not to sell out to Google

Steve Jobs once urged Yelp’s Jeremy Stoppelman to not go Google.

SFGate published a lengthy profile of Yelps’ co-founder and chief executive today, but one of the more interesting anecdotes concerned the late co-founder of Apple, of course.

According to SFGate:

  • Jeremy Stoppelman was on a conference call with venture capitalists when an assistant slipped him a note: “Steve Jobs is on the line.”
  • Stoppelman quietly left the room at Yelp headquarters in downtown San Francisco. It was January 2010, and Google wanted to buy Yelp, the online, crowd-sourced review site. On the phone, Jobs urged Stoppelman, who revered the Apple chief as a visionary, to “stay independent and not sell out to Google.” Jobs was not a fan of Google and had accused the search giant of stealing Apple’s smart-phone and tablet technology.
  • “At that point, we had already turned down Google,” Stoppelman said. “But Steve liked Yelp and wanted to make sure about Google. It was a moment where I said, ‘This is crazy. What just happened?'”

The CEO further admitted that he received another flooring phone call this spring when his company went public. Apparently, President Barack Obama ringed to congratulate Yelp on all of its successes since founding in 2004.

Yelp’s continuous upswing shows no signs of stopping, either. Senior Vice President of iOS Software Scott Forstall even demoed Yelp on Apple’s new Maps app during the opening keynote at the Worldwide Developers Conference last month. The check-in integration is slated to debut in iOS 6.

So, it appears Jobs may have had ulterior motives when warning Stoppelman about the repercussions of a Google acquisition—surprise, surprise.

Barack Obama Stories June 15, 2012

Barack Obama’s current Campaign Manager Jim Messina revealed recently that Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs encouraged him to capitalize on technology in ways that are boosting the president’s re-election efforts.

According to Businessweek, Messina quit his gig as the White House deputy chief of staff in January to become Obama’s 2012 campaign manager. He immediately met with executives at Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, DreamWorks, and more to commence a forward thinking stand for office.

“I went around the country for literally a month of my life interviewing these companies and just talking about organizational growth, emerging technologies, marketing,” said Messina to Businessweek.

He further described two conversations that he had with Jobs while still acting as deputy chief. The Apple co-founder told Messina last year that mobile technology—coupled with social—had to be the primary focus in the re-election effort.

“Last time you were programming to only a couple of channels,” said Jobs, while referring to the Web and email. “This time, you have to program content to a much wider variety of channels—Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, YouTube, Google—because people are segmented in a very different way than they were four years ago.”

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Barack Obama Stories January 24, 2012

President Obama is wrapping up his State of the Union Address right now. During the event, President Obama made many references to technology as a way to help with economic times. More specifically, President Obama had a pleasant mention for Apple’s late cofounder and CEO Steve Jobs with his widow Laurene Powell Jobs in attendance.

 “That means women should earn equal pay for equal work. It means we should support everyone who’s willing to work; and every risk-tasker and entrepreneur who aspires to become the next Steve Jobs.”

You may remember when Jobs had dinner with President Obama and other successful technology entrepreneurs in February of last year. The discussion revolved around getting people to collaborate and invest in American innovation to promote private sector job growth.

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Barack Obama Stories October 20, 2011

The Huffington Post pulls some words that Steve Jobs had for president Obama from Isaacson’s Steve Jobs bio.  On the meeting, Jobs insisted that Obama himself ask for a personal invitation.  They met in the Westin Airport hotel in San Francisco. It sounds like like Jobs is more of a Conservative than “hippy Liberal” in his incredibly blunt words to President Obama:

“You’re headed for a one-term presidency,” he told Obama at the start of their meeting, insisting that the administration needed to be more business-friendly. As an example, Jobs described the ease with which companies can build factories in China compared to the United States, where “regulations and unnecessary costs” make it difficult for them.

Jobs also criticized America’s education system, saying it was “crippled by union work rules,” noted Isaacson. “Until the teachers’ unions were broken, there was almost no hope for education reform.” Jobs proposed allowing principals to hire and fire teachers based on merit, that schools stay open until 6 p.m. and that they be open 11 months a year.

That said, Jobs was still willing to help Obama’s re-election campaign… expand full story

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